Nintendo will not be required to offer refunds on eShop pre-orders in Europe.
A German court has sided with Nintendo in a case against it filed in 2018 by German and Norwegian consumer advocacy groups.
Motivated by a complaint filed by the Norwegian Consumer Commission in 2018 against Nintendo and other companies for not offering refunds on digital pre-orders, the German Consumer Protection Authority took Nintendo to court in Germany over refusing to offer refunds on pre-orders made on the eShop in Europe.
The goal was to set a precedent and prevent more companies from having the same policy. Unfortunately, a German court has now ruled that Nintendo does not need to offer refunds because customers agree to waiving this right before completing an order.
Pressfire [Norwegian] reports that the Frankfurt Regional Court has dismissed the case, ordering the German consumer group to pay the fees. The German Consumer Protection Authority has already filed for an appeal, however.
Nintendo argued that Article 16 of Directive 2011/83 [PDF] of EU consumer law gives digital businesses the right not to offer a refund if “the performance has begun with the consumer’s prior express consent and his acknowledgement that he thereby loses his right of withdrawal.”
And, since making a pre-order on the eShop immediately starts the pre-load of the game, Nintendo has therefore fulfilled its end of the deal, even if the game itself won’t be playable for a while.
Pressfire points out that the appeal process could take up to a year, so don’t hold your breath.